Stanley Cup Years

The most coveted prize in the NHL, the Stanley Cup, found a home in the nation's capital on 11 previous occasions from 1903 to 1927. In fact, the idea for the Stanley Cup came to life in Ottawa in 1892 when Canada's Governor General, Lord Stanley of Preston, offered to donate a challenge cup that hockey teams in the Dominion of Canada would play for year after year.

The original Ottawa Senators had a dominating run in the early 1900's, winning their first Stanley Cup in 1903 and defending their championship three consecutive years from 1904-1906. The Senators repeated their dominance in the 1920's, winning four Stanley Cup championships from 1920-1927.

1903 Stanley Cup Season

Whether mocked as the "barber poles" by Montreal fans, or dubbed the "Senators" by Rat Portage* partisans, it didn't matter to the Ottawas. They won their first Stanley Cup March 10, 1903, defeating the Montreal Victorias at Dey's Rink in Ottawa. Then they knocked off the Rat Portage Thistles in a two-game challenge March 12 and 14. This was (One-eyed) Frank McGee's first season with the Ottawas, and the only year when the Gilmour brothers (Billy, Dave and Sutherland) played together for Ottawa.

*Is now Kenora, Ont.

1904 Stanley Cup Season

Holding forth at the Aberdeen Pavilion, the rough-house Senators defended the Stanley Cup three times in 1904. In January, they defeated the Winnipeg Rowing Club, sending them home with a "hospital list" of injured players. Their next victims were the Toronto Marlboros in February. "Nothing good in the way of a hockey team could come out of Toronto," jibed an Ottawa newspaper before the series had even started. Then in March, the Sens swept the Brandon Wheat Kings two straight. Over the three series, Frank McGee stood out with 20 goals in seven games.

1905 Stanley Cup Season

In an ill-advised 1905 challenge, the Dawson City Klondikers fell 9-2 and 23-2 to the mighty Ottawas. The team from the "frozen zone" were not the champions of any league and it was only through the influence of manager Joe Boyle, a Yukon mining entrepreneur, that the Stanley Cup trustees approved the series. Frank McGee's 14 goals in the second game is a record standing today. In March, the Senators defeated Rat Portage (today called Kenora, Ont.) two games to one in a best-of-three challenge.

1906 Stanley Cup Season

In a pre-season exhibition tour, the Senators' rail coach was hooked to a freight train for the Kenora-Fort William leg of the western journey. Dignity restored, the Sens continued as Stanley Cup champions through most of the 1906 season. First, they defeated Queen's University (Kingston) by a combined score of 28-14 in two games, then overpowered Smiths Falls (Ont.) by a two-match overall score of 14-7. The Sens' four-year dynasty ended in March when the Montreal Wanderers defeated them in the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association playoffs.

1909 Stanley Cup Season

The Senators captured the Stanley Cup as a fully professional team for the first time in 1909 by finishing first in the Eastern Canada Hockey Association. The league had dropped "Amateur" from its name that season. Marty Walsh scored an astounding 38 goals in 12 games for the Senators, followed by Bruce Stuart with 22 goals in 11 games, including six in one match against Quebec. Fred (Cyclone) Taylor, the highest paid player of his era, was a standout on defence for the Sens. There were no challenges that season.

1910 Stanley Cup Season

For some reason best forgotten, management turned the Sens' familiar barber pole jerseys into vertically striped ones for the 1910 season. Montreal fans thought our players looked like chipmunks, calling them suisses for the little rodent whose black and white stripes run the length of his coat. No matter, the Senators held the Cup most of the season, fending off challenges from Galt (now Cambridge, Ont.) and Edmonton. By placing second in the National Hockey Association, however, the Senators relinquished the Cup to the league-champion Montreal Wanderers.

1911 Stanley Cup Season

Sporting "swell" new barber pole jerseys, the Senators returned to form in 1911, reclaiming the Stanley Cup by finishing first in the National Hockey Association. This was Jack Darragh's first season with the Senators in what would prove to be a brilliant 13-year career with his hometown team. It was also a good year for veterans Marty Walsh (37 goals) and Dubbie Kerr (32 goals). Following the regular season, the Senators defended the Cup twice, defeating Galt and Port Arthur (Ont.) in sudden-death challenges.

1920 Stanley Cup Season

"We'll be going by your boys so fast, they'll need blankets to protect them from the breeze, quipped the Sens' Sprague Cleghorn to the Canadiens manager as he glided by the Montreal bench in a mid-season match. The cockiness was in order as the barber poles handily won the NHL title in 1920. That put them in the Stanley Cup final against the Pacific Coast-champion Seattle Metropolitans. But because the visitors also had striped jerseys, the Sens obligingly switched to solid white, and won the series three games to two.

1921 Stanley Cup Season

After defeating Toronto in the 1921 National Hockey League playoffs, the Senators headed west to meet the Pacific Coast-champion Vancouver Millionaires. Married only hours before embarking on the transcontinental, Punch Broadbent brought along his bride, whom he insisted was to be addressed as Mrs. Broadbent. Good times prevailed in the private coach where singing, gramophone playing and poker occupied the long days. The games alternated between western and eastern rules, with seven-man hockey being played on the west coast and the six-man version in the east. The Senators retained the Cup by winning the series three games to two.

1923 Stanley Cup Season

Since there were now two professional leagues in the west, the eastern-champion Senators would have to defeat the winners of both in order to claim the 1923 Stanley Cup. The Sens were missing two key personnel: coach Pete Green, who could not get away from his job at the post office, and long-time star Jack Darragh, who had managerial duties at Ottawa Dairy. The Sens defeated the Pacific Coast-champion Vancouver Maroons three games to one and then despatched the Western Hockey League-champion Edmonton Eskimos two straight.

1927 Stanley Cup Season

Dubbed the Super Six by flamboyant promoter Tommy Gorman, the Senators won the Canadian Division of the National Hockey League in 1927 and then defeated the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. That put them in the Stanley Cup final against Eddie Shore and the Boston Bruins, a team playing in only its third NHL season. It was supposed to be a best-of-three series, but four games were actually played. Two games ended in an overtime tie. The Senators won the other two to claim the Cup. That final match was the last Stanley Cup game ever played at the Ottawa Auditorium.